By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Dante Ariola
Starring: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Phillip Troy Linger, Lucas Hedges, Anne Heche
MPAA Rating: R (for Sexual Content, Language, Brief Drug Use)
Selig Rating: MATINEE
Runtime: 101 Min.
Summer is normally a time of somewhat brainless fare, films where having a drink before viewing can often enhance the experience. Arthur Newman is NOT one of those films. This is a thinking film.
Arthur Newman is the story of a man, Wallace Avery (Colin Firth), who is desperately unhappy with his life and decides to run away from it. He picks his new name from a chance encounter on a golf course. He is offered a job as golf pro in the big city of Terre Haute, Indiana. All he has to do is get new ID, fake his death, and run away from his life, his girlfriend, and his ex-wife and son.
Shortly after hitting the road Wallace/Arthur encounters a young woman, Michaela “Mike” Fitzgerald (Emily Blunt), whose view of the world is skewed way off the “normal bubble”; a troubled young woman running away from a troubled family life. She joins “Arthur” on the road and quickly discovers his true identity. Instead of turning him in, she joins him in breaking into homes along the way and acting out the lives that they see others living.
There is a side story as Wallace’s son, Kevin (Lucas Hedges), encounters and gets to know his father’s girlfriend, Mina Crawley (Anne Heche), in his apartment. We get to know Kevin and watch as he begins to deal with the loss of his father.
This is a rough film to watch. The view as Wallace and Mike descend into the depths of the darkness in their lives is tough. Seeing how low a man can go before he wakes up to the need to get back on track is not fun. That said, the story is well written and the acting is tight. This is a morality plan told in modern terms about the need to embrace your life and strive to make it better, not run away from it.
Movie Site: http://arthur-newman.com/
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!